The Apple is ripening in the sun. At least that’s one quippy take on the technology giant’s new solar contract with NV Energy in Nevada. The company signed a contract with the utility to support its Reno, NV, data center with 200 megawatts of solar energy by early 2019.
Apple already is one of the top corporate users of solar power in the US. Last October the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranked Apple fourth in its fifth annual 2016 Solar Means Business report in terms of corporate solar users with 93.9 megawatts of solar power installed. It also partnered with First Solar in 2015 to get another 130 megawatts of solar power to power its operations in California. As more solar power comes online Apple in Nevada and at its new campus in Cupertino, CA, it could even surpass the current leader, Target, with 147.5 megawatts of solar power installed across the US.
"Investing in innovative clean energy sources is vital to Apple's commitment to reaching, and maintaining, 100 percent renewable energy across all our operations," said Apple's Vice President for environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson. "Our partnership with NV Energy helps assure our customers their iMessages, FaceTime video chats and Siri inquiries are powered by clean energy, and supports efforts to offer the choice of green energy to Nevada residents and businesses."
The company also has made moves to ensure that all of its parts suppliers are getting their energy from green sources, too and will invest in 2 gigawatts of clean energy in China. Last year it committed to 100 percent clean energy by the end of 2018 and joined the RE100 initiative.
One of Apple’s biggest competitors, Google, will reach 100 percent renewable energy even earlier, in this year. But Google also invested more substantially in wind power earlier. More recently It’s been boosting its solar power purchases in the US and around the world.
This new effort in Nevada will add to NV Energy's already substantial pipeline of new solar projects which will total more than 529 megawatts with the Apple project. The utility already has 491 megawatts serving its customers.
"We are proud to play a role in helping Apple meet their energy needs with Nevada's abundant solar resource," said Paul Caudill, president and CEO of NV Energy. "In partnership with our customers, we continue to develop a more balanced fuel mix in a way that benefits the local economy by providing hundreds of jobs for Nevadans, particularly those in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 357 and 396, and advances the state's policy goals."Tweet